My son used to love the TV show, “The Wonder Pets”. In that show they have a recurring theme and a song to go along with it: “What’s gonna work… team-work!”.
Now for those who are new here, or who don’t already know, I work in software development. These days, almost all types of development require some form of team work, except for the poor guys who used to work at 3D Realms that were expected to code like they were living in the 90’s.
Splitting work between team members who have the same skill set is an difficult task. The reason being is that most developers tend to have a different style of programming between one another. So when one developer encounters another developers code, they may break “Rule 0” from the “C++ Coding Standards : Rules, Guidelines, and Best Practices” book, written by Herb Shutter and Andrei Alexandrescu.
Rule 0: Don’t sweat the small stuff
Wow! This rule is so simple… so powerful… So, why is it so hard to live by?
My guess is that for many developers perusing through code, the setup and layout of the code makes it easy, or hard, to read. So, if you are used to prefixing your pointer variables with a lower-case p and someone on your team is using plain words to describe the variable, I can understand how it hurts trying to read someone else’s code that may or may not jive with your brain. Comfy code formatting is like the cozy blue blanket for developers… Stop sucking your thumb!
Dev’ies are willing to spend the time, and shamefully submit code, that is may only be different by a couple of spaces or tabs. I will admit that I have broken this rule myself… with a big grin on my face while I’m committing such offense, but in the few cases where I have done this, it has been with code that has had it’s ownership transferred to me and I have authoritative rights to do with it as I please 🙂 So there!
Now back to team-work…
Working with other team members can be tough since it means we have to give up a part of ourselves to work with others and sometimes compromise our workflow so that everyone is happy and that no one feels negated.
Likewise, the ‘OTHERS’ have to give a little to receive a little… but remember that they can’t read your mind, so, you too have to let them know how you feel and respectfully tell them your ideas. I’m not suggesting that you have a Jerry Springer like meeting where people show how they feel deep down inside when you altered their code or comments and start flinging chairs at each other. Save that for TV where you can get paid for doing that!
I’m suggesting that if something doesn’t jive, let your team know, but think before you speak… Ask yourself, was there a good reason that developer took out your code or changed your comments or decided to change the spacing? You may be surprised with the answer. And if the answer is in violation of Rule 0, then smack them over the head with official “Offenses to Coding” baseball bat! It’s both fun and theraputic 😉
Till next time, happy batting… I mean… Happy Coding!